DCA & HMFA Welcome East Orange to "Live Where You Work" Homebuyer Program
East Orange Is 32nd Municipality to Partner with Agencies on Program
“Live Where You Work assists hard working New Jersey residents who are seeking homeownership opportunities and helps maintain the vitality of our communities,” said Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa. “I commend Mayor Bowser and East Orange officials for their commitment to improving their city’s quality of life and I encourage more municipalities to join the program.”
The Live Where You Work program provides low-interest, fixed rate mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers purchasing homes in towns where they are employed. Homes must be located in a municipality that has become a Live Where You Work partner with the HMFA, which is an affiliate of the DCA. Additional program benefits include down payment and closing cost assistance for the purchase of a home within Smart Growth Areas and flexible underwriting criteria for the loan qualification process.
“Live Where You Work is an effective program on so many levels. It helps people buy their first home, save money and reduce their commuting time to work. It also advances the larger goal of encouraging community revitalization through increased homeownership,” said Marge Della Vecchia. “There is a reason why more than 30 municipalities have decided to participate in Live Where You Work. The program makes sense, especially in today’s economy.”
The other 31 municipalities participating in the Live Where You Work program include: Trenton, Jersey City, Woodbridge, Elizabeth, Atlantic City, Rahway, Morristown, Evesham, Neptune Township, Bayonne, Carteret, New Brunswick, Paterson, Glassboro, Orange, Keyport, Newark, Washington Township (Gloucester County), Edgewater Park, Cherry Hill, Plainfield, Old Bridge, Passaic, Belmar, Asbury Park, Pemberton, Gloucester City, Voorhees, Manchester, Lakewood and Freehold Borough.
“This is a great opportunity to encourage people to remain in East Orange by helping them with their goal to obtain affordable housing within the City,” stated Mayor Bowser. “Programs like these are an excellent way to provide sustainability within our communities.”
Live Where You Work received the 2009 President’s Award for Innovation from the Council of State Community Development Agencies, a national association that supports state efforts in community development, affordable housing, local economic development and state-local relations. The award recognizes innovative activities, policies or programs that have been implemented at the state level and have demonstrated success in solving community needs.
To learn about how to get a Live Where You Work mortgage, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE. For more information about how municipalities can join Live Where You Work, please call 609-278-7478. Or, you can visit the Live Where You Work website at www.livewhereyouwork.nj.gov.The developer, Community Hope, has extensive experience and is successfully managing thirty-nine residential facilities. The non-profit organization’s newest project involves the acquisition and substantial renovation of a two-family house in Morris County that is older than 100 years. Upon completion of the renovations, Marilyn’s Hope will help to support and house four mental health consumers with the goal of integrating them into the community. Community Hope will provide case management services to the residents through funds from the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services.
The site is located in a well-maintained residential neighborhood within walking distance of downtown areas that provide access to a variety of stores and services. The close proximity to retail and business will make it easier for the residents to meet their daily needs, as well as provide employment opportunities.
“This project is happening because of the partnerships between the HMFA, New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services, Morris County and Community Hope,” said HMFA Executive Director Marge Della Vecchia. “Together we will provide the resources needed to make this a successful project while adding to the number of residents being assisted under the State’s Olmstead Plan.”
The HMFA is providing $380,000 in construction and permanent financing for the project from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund. It is anticipated that the renovation work will start in August 2010 with a completion date of January 2011.
The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund is administered by the HMFA and provides capital financing to create permanent supportive housing and community residences for individuals with special needs, with priority given to individuals with mental illness. The purpose of the fund is to develop special needs housing and residential opportunities as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness for those who would benefit from these programs and to ensure the long-term viability of such housing.
For further information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJ-HOUSE or log on to www.nj-hmfa.com.